Most businesses go about online lead generation the wrong way. That’s quite a bold statement, but it’s true.

Here’s why most businesses are missing a trick

Essentially it’s because their website is only geared up to convert people who are ready to buy or make contact with them there and then. That’s not how things work in the real world though. Time for a metaphor. If you’ve just started dating someone you wouldn’t jump straight in and ask that person to marry you would you? That’s ridiculous. First you’d go on a few more dates, and if things went well you’d spend more time together. You might progress to living together, and then who knows, maybe pop the question! Online marketing is similar. It takes time. Most buyers aren’t ready to ‘pop the question’ (or hire your company) when they visit your site for the first time. Instead they go through an initial “research phase” where they are trying to learn and gather as much information as they possibly can about the product or service they need. That means chances are extremely high they won’t contact you the first time they visit your website. The problem most companies face is that when the time is right for them to buy or engage with you, they’re loooonnng forgotten. dropoff-diagram3

Things can be different though

What if you could offer something to that percentage of visitors who weren’t quite ready to contact you just yet, so you can stay at the forefront of their minds? The good news is you can. It’s easy. And this is how.   1-create-a-lead-magnet

1) Create something of value to give these people

This is what we call a “lead magnet”. It’s a free downloadable guide or resource that’s extremely valuable in the information it provides. Why do free guides work so well? Because they give the customer just enough information to educate them, but hold just enough back for them to realise that they need to work with an expert to get the job done properly.


2) Offer your guide as a free download on your site

Once you’ve created your lead magnet, you need to give it away in a prominent place on your website. There are a number of different ways to do this. The crucial thing though is that you capture the user’s name and email address in exchange for your guide. If your guide’s title is compelling enough, then getting them to part with this information is easy.


3) Use MailChimp to securely store visitor details

You need a place for the details these visitors submit to be safely stored and that’s where MailChimp comes in. You’ve probably heard of MailChimp (and you might even use it for your email marketing). But it’s also fantastic when it comes to generating forms to embed on your website to capture visitor information. All you need to do is set up a separate “list” (thereby keeping these people who download your guide separate from your regular email newsletter subscribers) and then take advantage of MailChimp’s automation feature…


4) Using MailChimp’s “automation” feature

Put simply, an automation series is a collection of emails that you can create and have MailChimp deliver at predetermined time intervals automatically for you. MailChimp has this “automation” feature, which is the key to being able to market to the people who have downloaded your guide, without you having to do anything on an ongoing basis – it just requires a bit of time to set up. So what do you include in your automation emails? Typically, you’ll want no more than 8-12 emails in total and you’ll want set your automation series up so that these get delivered every other day, so as not to overwhelm your prospect. The most important thing here is to spend time making sure that the content in those 8 automation emails is extremely helpful, useful and educational. If you’re struggling for ideas, the best place to start is your blog. Go back through your articles and see if you can recycle some that content for your automation series. You might even include a special offer in your automation series to entice your leads to get in touch and claim it.

Online marketing has changed…

Marketing is something that you need to be doing constantly if you want a steady stream of clients, and it takes time. It’s extremely rare for someone to land on your website and engage your services right away. You need to go through a “dating” process to convince them your company knows its stuff, and by providing them with incredibly useful information for free, you’re helping them whilst staying at the forefront of their mind for when the time is right to engage your services. The beauty of lead magnets and automation emails are that if you have a good stream of traffic to your website and you create the right resource, you can be capturing even more leads and warming them up without very much effort at all, as this diagram shows. We think lead magnets combined with email automation are a great way of working smarter, not harder. email-automation-flow2

Interested to learn more about marketing automation? If you’d like help setting something like this up for your business, just contact us or call us on 01747 852298 to discuss your requirements.

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